Monday, September 24, 2007

Over-reaction regarding NFL teams

After three games, some teams will look terrific and other teams will look horrible. The teams that look terrific are likely very good teams. But sometimes there is an overreaction. After last night's win against the Chicago Bears, people are now annointing the Dallas Cowboys as the team to beat in the NFC. I don't disagree with that...that seems about right. They have played well, won three games convincingly and I would agree they are the best team in the NFC.

What I don't agree with, is the instant over-reaction that they are far and away the best team in the NFC. People are comparing them to the best teams in the AFC - PIT, IND and NE. That's a bit too early, we really need to see more than three games. People forget that three games is still only three games.

Their next two games look pretty easy. They have a visiting 0-3 St. Louis Rams team without their star RB, and they are are a 11.5 point favorite. I have no problems with that line.

Next after the Rams, they visit an injured and down-in-the-dumps Buffalo team. Looks like they'll be a decent-sized favorite in that game as well.

But week 6 is the real test. That's when the New England Patriots, the best team in the NFL by far, visits the Cowboys in Dallas. If the Cowboys can hold their own in that game - they don't have to win, just hold their own - then people can rightfully put them up there.

If the Cowboys were playing different teams next week, I wouldn't be too surprised if they lost to any of these NFC teams: SEA, PHI, WAS, CAR, and yes, CHI again. One loss, even a bad loss, does not mean the Bears are worthless and can't play the game anymore. The game was tied 10-10 in the 3rd Quarter, it wasn't a real blowout from start to finish.

No need to overreact. Being the front-runner in the NFC doesn't mean they will definitely win. With that said, here are my current expected odds on the Cowboys:

to win the NFC East: -474 or 82.6%
to win the NFC: +190 or 34.8%
to win the Super Bowl: +810 or 11.0%

The big difference between the NFC and Super Bowl odds is due to the New England Patriots. Week 6 looms ahead.